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Five Lines To Draw In The Office And Home

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We’ve all been guilty of indulging a little too much in our work-life- some of us because our hands are tied and the rest of us because we are workaholics. This may mean staying a couple of extra hours at the office or even bringing your work home. Then there are those of us who are blessed to work from home. There may come the point where you may need to draw a line between the office and home sweet home. Here are five few ways you can balance both:

Turn off your phone

This is the most important rule of thumb and where a lot of people go wrong. It’s dinner time, you’re with your family, and your phone won’t stop ringing. Put the darn thing on silent. I’m sure the office can wait a few minutes for you to enjoy a meal with your family. Don’t just set this rule for your boss and co-workers; This goes for everyone you know. Advise your friends, neighbors, family, whatever that you will not be accepting calls after a certain time. You always have another time or day that you can listen about Aunt Rita’s cat or your buddy’s new car. Set your phone aside and relax. You’ve earned it! The same thing goes for when you’re at work. Some people don’t know when not to call or bother you. It seems that, for whatever reason, they can’t understand the concept of “working hours”. Unless it is an emergency, ignore all personal calls, texts, or emails. You’re on the clock, getting paid to work. When you can work without distractions, you can finish your work in a timely manner. When you can finish your work in a timely manner, obviously, there is no work to take home. Voila!

Put aside all electronics

This goes for everyone in the family. No iPads, iPods, iPhones, iAnything. It’s family time! With all of the cool gadgets out, it is becoming exceptionally hard to stow away all electronics. Your angry birds game can wait! Instead, pick up a board game, pop in a movie, or go for a walk together. It is important to have that bonding time. It’s easier said than done- letting go of electronic communication. There will always be the need to pick up your phone and check your email or continue to work on your laptop. Every piece of technology you have, regardless of what is on it, will make you think of work. Pay attention to what is around you. Your loved ones will thank you.

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Set realistic expectations

There will be days where your work or home dominates, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. C’est La Vie! Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t juggle both lives. Working is hard enough, let alone working and having a life at home. Make a list of what is important and get things done one by one. Again, there are always people around to help, even if you have to pay them. This means taking care of your dry cleaning, mowing the lawn, or even handling dinner. Besides, eating take-out never hurt anyone. The one major thing to keep in mind is your health. If you stay on top of your sniffles and cough, you won’t miss much of anything. You’ll be able to spring back up like nothing happened.

Say “no”

There will be days when there is extra work floating around the office, and your boss wants you to stay late. Learn how to say no….politely. You don’t need to slave your life away every single day you’re alive. Sometimes the hard work you’ve put in has to be enough. Saying no doesn’t only apply to your work life, but at home as well. There are lines to cross in every direction. Say “no” to volunteering at your daughter’s bake sale. No one will die if you bring store-bought goods instead of baking them yourself. Respectfully decline to drive all of the baseball team to practice. You don’t have to do everything that is asked of you. That’s why we have the lovely word, “no”!

Have some “me” time

Sure, it’s nice to spend some downtime with family and friends, but a great deal of recovering from work’s stress is to seclude yourself from the world. You already give so much of yourself away. It’s time to keep some for you! There are tons of things you can do to enjoy yourself. Take a vacation for one, sit in the library and read, or just stay at home. At home, you can light yourself a candle, fill up the tub with bubbles, and pour yourself a glass of wine. It’s like a mini-vacation! Or you can always do my favorite- take a nap! You’ll wake up refreshed and feeling like a million bucks. Taking a break at work AND at home is both essential. Make sure you are breaking every so often at the office (or again- in your home office) to allow yourself some time to recuperate. These breaks don’t have to be the standard 15-minute breaks…unless your boss says so, of course. Just make sure you have enough time to take a deep breath and let it all go. Get yourself a cup of coffee…or tea! Your choice! Believe it or not, taking the occasional break actually boosts productivity!

Balancing work and home is subjective to what you believe is right. It’s completely up to you where exactly you draw the line. However, if the last thought on your mind every night is work, you may need to adjust. Since work has become so portable, we can do it literally anywhere and wearing next to nothing. It’s becoming a lot harder to put down. The key is finding the balance that fits yours and your family’s needs. In essence, it is separating both lives, but it is also allowing each entity to flourish

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